Cancer is a disease that causes cells to divide without stopping, leading to tumor growth and reduced function in the immune system. Many cancers are ultimately fatal if an individual does not receive treatment or if the cancer is incurable.
Cancer diagnosis begins with a thorough physical exam and a complete medical history. Depending on the symptoms, personal and family medical history, the doctors will use a combination of tests to determine whether a person has cancer. Some of these tests include:
Biopsy, involves taking a sample of tissue from a potentially cancerous lesion and sending it to a laboratory.
Imaging Scans; to identify cancerous lesions in the body
- OGDS; to evaluate or treat symptoms relating to the upper gastrointestinal tract.
- Colonoscopy; a procedure that enables an examiner to evaluate the inside of the colon (large intestine).
- Bronchoscopy; a procedure that allows a doctor to examine the inside of the lungs.
Laboratory Testing; involves taking samples of blood, urine, sputum, or other body fluids to check for these compounds.
- Tumor/cancer markers are bio-markers that are found in blood, urine and body tissues.
- Although an elevated level of a tumor marker may suggest the presence of cancer, this alone is not enough to diagnose cancer. The measurements of tumor markers are usually combined with other tests or investigations.
- Imaging tests allow your doctor to examine your bones and internal organs in a non-invasive way
- Imaging tests used in diagnosing cancer may include a computerized tomography (CT) scan, bone scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) scan, ultrasound, mammography, and X-ray, among others.